Is There Mold in Your Home? - February 25th 2005
...Tips & Products that can help.
Along with pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds, molds are a leading cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis. In warm regions, molds may be present year round. In colder areas, the mold season generally runs from early spring well into the fall, typically peaking during July and August. While most molds, like pollens, are killed by the first major frost, others may persist during the winter months even in cold regions.
There are literally thousands of types of mold. The seeds of reproductive particles of fungi are known as spores. It is usually these spores that actually cause mold allergies. A single mold growth can spawn literally millions of spores.
Molds can be found wherever moisture and oxygen are present. Rotting logs and vegetation are prime habitat for molds, as are damp walls and carpet. Some molds attach to certain grasses, weeds, and grains such as wheat, oats, barley, and corn. Molds thrive at room temperature.
Inside your home, molds can often be found in damp basements and closets (in sheetrock, wallboard, and insulation), bathrooms, refrigerator, house plants, air conditioning system, humidifiers, foam pillows, washing machines, dryer vents, and furniture. Certain workplace environments are also very prone to mold infestation or problems.
You can do the following to reduce your exposure to potentially harmful molds in your home:
-install a quality air cleaner/purifier in your home
-remove carpet in bathrooms and replace with tile or linoleum
-clean bathrooms and shower stalls frequently with mold-killing cleaning solutions
-turn your exhaust fan on in the bathroom when showering, and in the kitchen when cooking
-vent your clothes dryer outside of the home
-use a dehumidifier in the summer if the humidity in your home exceeds 50%
-make sure clothes are well dried before they are put away in closets or dressers
-use paints with mold inhibitors
-repair any water leaks in basements quickly